The Supreme Court on Friday ordered Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, to continue with the trial of a former spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh on a two-count charge of money laundering and fraud.
Metuh had approached the apex court following the ruling of a Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Wednesday, May 24 dismissing his appeal, ruling that the trial judge, Justice Okon Abang was right when he dismissed his no-case-submission.
A five-man panel of the apex court dismissed Metuh’s application for stay of proceedings of his trial before the Federal High Court. In the application, Metuh urged the Supreme Court to halt his trial at the Federal High Court pending the determination of his no-case submission by the apex court. The trial resumes on June 19.
In an earlier unanimous judgment delivered by a three-man panel of Justices in Court of Appeal led by Justice Abdul Aboki, the appellate court held that, Metuh had a case to answer regarding the N400 million allegedly transferred from the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, into his company account.
Justice Aboki noted that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had established a prima-facie case to warrant explanations from the defendant, adding that, “from the evidence adduced before the trial court, can it be said that the 1st defendant has no case to answer?
“The case of the prosecution has raised several questions that only the defendant can answer. It is evident that from testimonies of the eight witnesses called by the prosecution that issues of fact were raised to warrant explanations from the appellant. “There is need for the defendant to either accept or deny the allegations against him,” Justice Aboki held.
According to him, the prosecution having closed its case, the burden of defence shifted to the appellant who he said was “entitled to give explanations as to what actually transpired. “There is no merit in this appeal and it is accordingly dismissed.”